Evening paddle North Berwick Tuesday 28 August

Under the expert guidance and local knowledge of  Tim, Segar, Nick, David, Graham and Ian left North Berwick harbour just as the tide had begun to ebb and headed through very light winds and swell towards The Lamb, where we caught up with a guided group who had left from the same point earlier.  There was little opportunity for playing on the east side but a slight increase in swell was evident once we rounded The Lamb, suggesting greater challenges lay ahead.  Quick inspection of the small western valley revealed much less tree-mallow than before – so our efforts are clearly having a positive effect.

We headed onwards to Fidra, eventually reaching the sheltered eastern shore to be welcomed by much screeching of seabirds.  We passed by the northern arch and hit the most sustained chop of the evening on the western side in our journey to the small sandy beach on the south side – which unfortunately had not yet revealed itself.  Yellowcraig beckoned, and there we stopped to refuel and discuss upcoming housing developments in East Lothian.

Sunset was 2014, so we “lit up” and despite the wind dropping almost completely, gained a slight push homewards from the swell.  As the light faded to nothingness, we re-passed The Lamb on the south and headed straight between Craigleith and North Berwick, thus avoiding the Law Rocks and the Hummel Ridges, until under Tim’s care we lined up the leading lights of the harbour and beached at 2120.  There’s something eerily magical about coming in in darkness – marred only by the torch from an upper harbour wall window and a request to know what “youse are daeing.”  Responses ranged from smuggling to simply having fun.

Thanks to everyone for paddling pretty tight and to Tim for organising.

Ian Patterson